In the second episode of "Fill My Cup," Kim Nash, owner of THriv, discusses seven ways we can invest in self-care.
Fill My Cup: Episode 2
As leaders we naturally want to pour good into others, but this requires us to take care of ourselves which can feel selfish!
In this episode, we will explore seven different ways we can invest in ourselves and improve our self-care. We will look at the following seven areas:
Take time away
Incorporate healthy eating habits
Get more exercise
Replace the negative things in our minds with positive
Spend more time with people
Engage in fun activities
Improve before bedtime activities to get better sleep
Learn how to take small steps to incorporate these ideas into your daily life.
Fill My Cup Transcript
Kim Nash (00:17):
Welcome to our second episode of Fill My Cup. Today we're filling our cups at Idea Coffee in Mount Joy. In our last episode, we talked about influence and how we influence others and how it's easy to get depleted. I hope you've been practicing the three challenges from our first episode. Number one, be aware of those around you and who you influence. Second, what are the warning signs that you are running on empty? What is your body and your mood telling you? And third, what do you do to recharge? Today our focus is on a topic that's uncomfortable for many of us, and that is self-care. Full transparency this is an area that I struggle for with, and so for me, self-care feels selfish. If I'm doing something for me, then that's then I'm letting someone else down or I'm not being productive. This is how I feel. This is not true, and this is wrong thinking. Self-care is important for us when we are filling our cups so we can fill our cups with good, so that we can pour out to others.
We have a lot of responsibilities in our lives. We have work, we have family, we have community. And it can be challenging to find time for self-care. By the end of the day, I am absolutely exhausted, but I want to help us to explore some ways that we can invest in self-care. The first thing that we need to do is we need to take time off. Historically, I would tell you that taking time off is so difficult because I would spend a lot of time working ahead of time to take that vacation and when I would come back I would have to get caught up. Why even bother taking time off? I found myself saving up my vacation and putting it in a sick bank so that in the event I ever got sick, I had that time saved up. So I wasn't taking much time off. But what ended up happening was my company decided to change the policy and I ended up losing all my sick time in that sick bank. I made a commitment that I was going take three weeks off each year so I could recharge.
This summer, my husband and I did something for the very first time that we have never done before. We actually took two weeks vacation. It took two years of planning for me to be able to take that two weeks off and really recharge. My husband works in an environment where he has people that work for him, and so they were able to step in for him while he was gone. But me owning my own business, I didn't have anybody. So I had to make sure that I had loose ends tied up. I had to make sure everybody knew that I would be on vacation. And so if they sent me an email, they know that I wasn't ignoring them. After much planning, it was very successful. We were able to get away for the two weeks and I felt very stress free.
We all need to take a break. If you're a parent, you need time away from your children. Don't feel guilty for your mental health, but also for them to get used to being around safe people. If you don't have family that can help out with you, with your, with your children. One of the things that I did when I had young children was to find other parents with young children and we would swap kids and we would take time, watching each other's kids so we could go and just get a break. So you need to have that break. Don't feel guilty about taking time away from your children. If you're a caregiver and you have a family member, an elderly parent, or a special needs child, you need time away to relax and you really should find others that can help you to take on those responsibilities so you can just get away and recharge.
Now let me talk to managers and supervisors. If you have employees that work for you, you need to set the example. You need to demonstrate that you can take time off and that you can unplug. Show your employees that you trust them by delegating to them. Encourage employees also to take time off and unplug. Give them the opportunities so that they don't feel like I did. I work really hard before I take vacation, and then I come back and I have so much work to do. Help to relieve some of that stress that they have and give them that opportunity to unplug and not feel guilty about it. Get other team members to pitch in and help. Also, we need to be careful about sending emails after hours and on weekends, we may have that opinion that we don't expect them to respond, but we're sending that message, I'm working.
You should work too. So if you're thinking about sending emails, put them in your draft and then send them on Monday morning or some other time during the workday so that they don't feel obligated to respond. Take time off. That's really key. Second, we need to adopt healthy eating habits. I am not a nutritional expert, I will admit that. I suggest that maybe you find someone who is, but I do know the term garbage in and garbage out. If I am putting garbage in my body, I'm gonna feel like garbage. It's important that we eat and we drink healthy, and my body lets me know if I'm not doing that. If I haven't been eating enough fruits and vegetables, my body will let me know. Or if I don't have enough water, I'm dehydrated. My body lets me know.
We want make sure that we're eating healthy and we're putting things in our body that are good for our body. I strongly encourage you to get get a nutritional expert to help you. I know many of us travel a lot and that is hard to eat healthy. It's difficult, but it's not impossible for me. I look at restaurants on online, I'll look at restaurant menus online, and if they don't have healthy options, I'm onto the next menu. It is not convenient and it's expensive to eat healthy, but the appropriate nutrients will give us the energy that we need. Start small. You don't have to change your whole eating habits right away, but start small.
Maybe next time you go out, if you get a sandwich, instead of getting french fries with it, try a salad. Just small steps like that. Third exercise, when we exercise, it releases those good chemicals endorphins and serotonin. And again, I'm not an expert in these areas, but I do know that when I am exercising, I feel so much better. If you are gonna to start a full-blown exercise regimen, you should work with your medical provider to help you. But I have a few suggestions to help you get started. First of all, get a Fitbit and put it on your wrist and set a daily goal. How many steps do you want to take per day? Maybe you start small and you just start with 8,000 steps a day and then you move up to 10,000 steps. Take time away from your desk. I have heard sitting is the new smoking, so let's get up and not sit all day.
Change of scenery. Get outside. Take a walk around your house, take a walk around the block. Maybe if it's bad weather, get a treadmill. There are treadmills that you can put with your desk and you can be walking on the treadmill while you're working. Take advantage of the steps over elevators and escalators. If you're going to a facility, park farther away from the building and take more steps.. Maybe you like to ride bike, maybe you like to kayak, maybe you like to hike, maybe you like to swim. Take advantage of those activities. Getting outside and getting vitamin D is so good for us. At lunchtime, get up and go outside for a couple minutes. The fresh air and the sun sunshine can really help our mental ability.
If you're thinking about joining a gym and getting a personal trainer, that's a great idea as well. If you like sports, getting out and playing some basketball, pickleball, baseball, soccer, golf, etc. all of those things are good exercise. Whatever you choose, just get moving and get outside when you can. Fourth is meditation. What do you put into your mind? Again, garbage in, garbage out. When I was a child, we had three TV channels that we watched. Today, we have so many streaming services and so many channels. What are we putting into our head when we sit down and watch tv? What's the music that we're listening to? Some music out there has really bad lyrics. What kind of music are we listening to? What are we looking at in our social media? What podcasts are we listening to?
What are we reading? Try to pay attention to the negative things that you're putting into your mind and look for ways to put those in your mind. We are so overwhelmed with information when it comes to the news. Limit that news. We need to know what's going on in the world, but don't stay fixated on it because it is negative. So find positive things. For me, it's scripture, it's it's contemporary Christian music that really helps me, but for you it could be something different. Number five is fun activities. What are some fun activities that you like to do? Maybe you like to work in the garden, grow plants, work in your yard, do woodworking, painting, puzzles, crafts, renovating your home, restoring old cars or something else.
It's a change of scenery, it's a change of pace, it's something different. Number six is connecting with others, getting together with friends and just laughing and having a good time. Or joining networking groups, where you can have mentors or friends that are in similar situations and leadership positions similar to you or other parents you can talk to. Think about who you can connect with and get to know. And last is sleep. This is another area that has been a real trouble for me. It's finding ways to have a good night's sleep. And when we do that, it helps us to function better. Our Fitbits will tell us how much sleep and what type of sleep we get. Some things that we should do before we go to bed at night is number one, avoid caffeine before bed.
Limit our devices before bed, and spend time reading or doing something else that helps us to relax. Be careful if you sit down to watch TV and you fall asleep on the sofa before bed, we call that a nappetizer. You fall asleep on the sofa and when you wake up you can't fall asleep in bed. Think about your before activities, what you're doing to relax, good meditation before bed can be helpful. Think about your mattress. Think about the pillow that you're using. Really important to your sleep is noise reduction. Do you have an a white noise maker?
The noise maker drowns the outside noises so you're able to sleep. Make sure you silence your phone so that it's not going off during the night. These are some of the tips that can help us in our self-care. Remembering self-care is important to us in order for us to pour good into others. When we're pouring good into ourselves, we can pour good into others. So over the next couple weeks, I would encourage you to think about of these seven areas, where are some baby steps that you can take to practice self-care? Number one, how can you take some time off? Whether you start with just a day or an afternoon and just taking time off to get away. What can I do to eat better? Again, small things like maybe not having french fries as a side. Maybe cutting back on your alcohol consumption, and drinking more water.
Exercise. Maybe I can park farther away from the building, getting up from my desk at lunchtime and going outside and taking a walk around the block. Small starts meditation. Maybe I need to look at different things to watch on TV or read, find different things to read or music that I can listen to. What's a fun activity that I can do once a week? Something that I can put into my schedule once a week, connecting with others. Get together for lunch with somebody once a week. Joining a networking group. And then finally, what can I do to get better sleep? What are some things that I can change in my before bedtime activity? These are seven areas that I encourage you to look at our over the next couple weeks. And just a reminder, our intent is to fill our cup at different locations each month. If you have a favorite spot that we can go to fill our cups, I would welcome the free shout out. Please let me know. Thank you again for joining us for this episode of Fill My Cup. And until next time, please take care of yourself and keep filling your cup.
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